I have wonderful new clients who have a racing pigeon (add that to the list!) and a very timid rescue cat. As I always do with all new clients, I go to the house and meet the babies. Although I have lots to say about Noelle, the gorgeous pigeon, I’m saving her for her own blog post tomorrow. Mai-tai, the cat, was behind the couch when I was shown around and given the run-down on the two munchkins. I couldn’t even see what she looked like but was told she’s a beautiful Maine Coone and that although she’s quite affectionate with her mom and dad, she feels safe behind the couch and gets spooked easily. And when it comes to strangers and even regular visitors, she is Extremely Shy. Puffing out my feathers, I talked with pride about the shy cats that thread their tails through my legs and the standoffish dogs that come running to me when I meet them. I visited the two little ones for four days and while I built a solid relationship with Noelle who climbs onto my hand willingly and rides around on my shoulder, Mai-tai remained behind the couch.
We had one brief encounter where she tried to run for the bedroom, realized the door was closed and was stuck sitting behind the dining room table because I was between her and the couches. Hoping that this forced introduction would kick start our impending friendship, I sat across from her on the other side of the chairs. As time passed, and I discussed random topics with her, she went from solid stares to squeezing her eyes closed, a sign that she trusted me enough to let down her guard a bit. I thought, “Yes! This is the turning point.” I got up to go into the kitchen and get her food and she bolted back behind the couch. I didn’t see her again during that sitting gig.
This time around, while still hopeful, I’ve been trying to be realistic. She just might think I’m too much, too loud, too forward. I’ll just look wistfully at the couch and continue saying cheery things in her general direction.
During my morning visit today, I cleaned Noelle’s cage and we had one of our usual fun visits. Then I puttered around the kitchen getting food and water for Mai-tai, chatting the entire time. As I left the kitchen, I heard the bell on her collar. Stopping suddenly, I cautiously crept forward. And surprise! She was sitting under the side table between the couches. I expected her to bolt back to her hideaway when she saw me, but she stayed where she was. Unsure of how to proceed, I lowered myself to the floor and put the wet food about four feet in front of me and chatted quietly to her.
She sat for a long time looking at me and then slowly got up and started meowing while inching forward. I discovered that she has one of those meows that hardly comes out, more of a pantomime. I LOVE meows like that! She crept forward, stopped at the food, as I expected her to, but to my utter shock and delight she kept walking. Her furry body was millimeters away and she head butted my hand! My mouth was a giant “oh”. And then the petting! She let me pet her!! After a bit, she walked back to the food and ate quite comfortably.
After a time, she grew bored of the food and brought her beautiful fuzziness back to me. More rounds of love served!
Blurry Cat Love
Alternating between eating and woozles, sometimes she’d take a break and just stand in front of me and knead the floor with joy. She’d purred like crazy the moment her head touched my hand! I even got glimpses of her gorgeous belly, she was that comfortable. Flopping down, rolling around, thunderous purring. What a happy cat!!!
Belly ripe for smooshing!
When I went back into the bedroom to put Noelle back in her cage, Mai-tai’d retreated by the time I’d come back out. Only for a second, though, and then it was kitty love time all over again. Great day!!!